14 January 2011

Chili - A Game Day Classic for Super Bowl

Vegetarian Chili - A Game Day Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com

If you can’t be among the 100,000 fans at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday, February 6, maybe you'll be watching (or not watching!) Super Bowl XLV with a few friends at home. With a big-screen TV and a little planning, it’s almost better than being there.

To many, it’s just not Game Day without chips and the ubiquitous onion dip. But the Super Bowl is an event that calls for more than a bag of chips and a six-pack. Get the afternoon started with some great snacks—maybe some hummus or pimento cheese. Then right around halftime, bring on the real food—dishes that are easy to serve and easy to eat while watching the game.

Hearty soups, stews and casseroles are perfect foods for the game, and chili – with beans or without, beef or pork, ground meat or chunks, red or green – is a classic. Set up a chili bar where guests can choose their favorite garnishes. Offer guacamole or diced avocado, sour cream, shredded Cheddar and Jack cheese, sliced black olives, diced onion, sliced green onion, shredded cabbage or iceberg lettuce, cilantro, lime wedges and thinly sliced radishes.

For dessert, this quick and easy feeds-a-crowd chocolate cake that is served right from the pan is perfect for any large casual party. And here is my Won’t-Even-Miss-the-Meat Chili, a recipe I developed years ago when I was a vegetarian. It was the one dish I could count on to satisfy even the most carnivorous of my friends, who were not expecting to come away from the meal saying “Wow! I didn’t even miss the meat!” So ... tell me how you feel about chili and about football!

Vegetarian Chili - Won’t-Even-Miss-the-Meat Chili

(Makes twelve 1 1/2-cup servings)

2 pounds dry red kidney beans
10 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1 cup chopped celery (2 large stalks)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 large)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (soy sauce if you're vegetarian)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (to start!)
1 29-ounce can diced tomatoes (I use
Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted)

1 Wash beans in cold water. Put beans and water in a 6- or 7-quart pot.* Soak beans at least 5 hours or overnight. Drain off soaking liquid and add 10 cups of fresh water. (I'm so precise about the water because we're going to add the sauce to the beans, so I don't want the beans to be swimming in water.) Bring to a full rolling boil, boil for a minute, then reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, for about 2 1/2 hours, adding salt during the last 1/2 hour. And don't bother skimming off the foam that will form on the surface. A lot of people do, but I consider it just a waste of my precious time!

2 During last 45 minutes, make sauce. In large skillet or 3-quart saucepan, heat oil and cook onion, celery and green pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and seasonings, and cook for about 10 minutes to "brown" the tomato paste and toast the spices (mixture will be very thick). Add diced tomatoes. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. If the beans aren't tender by the time the sauce has cooked 30 minutes, turn the heat off under the sauce, cover and let stand until beans are done.

3 Add sauce to beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the chili is the consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into bowls and serve, offering assortment of garnishes. Can be made a day or more ahead--it just gets better!

*I don't have one myself, but I know the ideal pan for foods like this would be the All-Clad Stainless 7-Quart Stockpot with Pasta Insert. I made these gorgeous fettuccine-like shreds of cheese with my new Microplane Professional Extra Coarse Grater!


Mrs. Tuna said...

I'm going to give this a whirl this weekend.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Oh, yeah, I am salivating like Pavlov's dog. I could skip the Super Bowl – unless I happen to be multitasking while it's on – in favor of actually doing something, like snowshoeing or skiing, but I wouldn't mind chilling out with some of your chili. And I can testify that celery in the recipe is an amazing taste/texture asset.


Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Mrs. Tuna! Hope you like it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, you could make a batch and then just heat up a bowl to warm you up when you come in from your skiing and snowshoeing!

Anne R. Allen said...

I've just been craving some chili--and this looks like the perfect recipe. I never thought of putting celery in chili, but it sounds like a great addition. It looks like a lot, but I can have some now and save the rest for the potluck I'm going to on Saturday. Thanks!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Anne! Yes, it makes a lot--I like to get more than one meal out of anything that takes a long time to cook (more energy efficient). I sometimes freeze half for another day.

FxMedChiro said...

That picture alone is enough to make me salivate.

Thank you for the great recipe!

Dr. Young

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! So glad you like the recipe. It will either feed a crowd OR feed one or two for a whole week!

Mark said...

Great recipe. Thanks!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, all my recipes are great! (Hey, if I didn't think so, why would I put them out there, right?) smile

Unknown said...

Oh..that looks so good Jean! There truly is nothing better on game day or a cold day, than a big bowl of chili!! YUM!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yeah! And I love to pile on the garnishes, trying a few different ones on each bowl I have throughout the day.

Super Bowl Commercials 2012 said...

Superb post. Looking delicious. Thanks for the share.
Super Bowl 2012

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I'm not even a football fan, but the Super Bowl has become an institution!

Richard Sheppard said...

Mmmmmmm. I'm going to make some chili tomorrow night and I'll use this recipe as a guide. Can't wait because I know it's going to be yummy.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Richard, thank you! I hope it turns out well for you.